Being a Writer is the Most Important Thing in My Life, Not Taking a job Like a Slave

I took a cold Fresca from the table and drank it to quench my thirst.

“Yes, it is goddamn difficult for me to persevere my mission in Japan. I am perpetually vexed, depressed, and melancholic. The perfect trilogy, ha-ha-ha. That’s the truth. That’s why I always take a vacation every six months to visit Mexico. Frankly, Jorgito, whenever picturing to myself that I’ll be working five days a week like a slave for the rest of my life, I feel like committing suicide. I really don’t want to hang around with Japanese because every time I go out with them, they always complain about their job circumstances. They just want to get it off their chest, so that they can go to work the next day as if their sufferings had disappeared. You know, I don’t want to jeopardize my life like them. They are incurably ignorant, because they will do what they don’t like for the rest of life and will never know of the meaning of life. When they retire, they will realize they haven’t done anything in their lives except working five days a week constantly. It will be too late for them to change their lives at that juncture, because they will be simply too old to do it and will be totally depressed if they think about it seriously. What they will have in their heart for the rest of their old live is: absolute regret for their past life. I refuse to be like them and be happy being alone in Japan even if I sometimes feel unbearable loneliness. You’ll be better off alone, trust me, Jorgito. It’s better to be alone than with someone who doesn’t understand you. Besides, I don’t have any time to listen to their nonsense because I have an important mission to fulfill. Being a writer is the most important thing in my life, not taking a job like a slave. Hence, I always contemplate about my new adventure, namely, going back to Vancouver to write my book which gives me hope and courage.”

I just Want to Work for Myself!

“You know, Shogo, I can’t talk about my true feelings with my Mexican friends because they think I am cracked. They don’t understand what I’m talking about, but they always think about how to get a good job and how to get a good salary. They always talk about money. I don’t care about fucking money. I don’t want to be a millionaire. But I just need a little money to take care of myself without being employed. I just want to have my own business and don’t need any employees. I just want to work for myself and want to be free from this fucking society system. Whenever I am in my office, I am no longer Jorgito anymore. I just want to be Jorgito all the time! Every time I tell my friends about my vision of life, they ridicule me, call me moron, and tell me to wake up and take my life more seriously. Only you perfectly understand me. We are the same kind, Shogo. Tell me what I have to do so that I can achieve my goal?”

I replied considerately, “Jorgito, I totally understand how you feel, you know, because I am completely in the same situation in Japan. It can be safe to say Japanese people’s lack of understanding of the meaning of life is much worse than Mexicans. People simply can’t understand what we are talking about, which I’ve learned from my sufferings. I really think you are special, because ordinary people are not able to think about the meaning of life, but you always think about it. They only know how to think about earning money. You want to enjoy life more than anyone else. I think you are the one who takes life more seriously than anyone else. You absolutely know what you don’t want to do in your life and clearly know what kind of life you want to lead. I suppose your friends are jealous of you and envy you secretly, because you have the courage to express what you feel and have the courage to persevere for what you believe in. And they know in the depth of their hearts that they don’t have the courage to act as you do. They are actually the cowering ones. I think you don’t need to explain to mediocrities what you are doing because they’ll only give you pessimistic answers. Ordinary people are ignorant about life, but we are the ones who know about life more than anyone else because we’ve been trying to understand it. You just do what you must do and think about only your mission in your life every day. Just ignore ordinary people because talking with fools is completely wasting your time. You don’t have any time to waste, for you must fulfill your destiny. I always ignore Japanese and concentrate on my mission; it’s very hard though.”

Who Decided in the First Place That We, Human Beings, Have to Work Five Days a Week?

It was almost three years ago when we went to Acapulco and rented a very beautiful house on the cliff with a wonderful ocean view. There were ten of us then, eight Mexicans, one American, and me. Jorgito and I were sitting in the garden beside the pool. And he said, “I’m so glad to see you again, my friend, because I want to talk to you about a lot of things. I’ve been vexed. Now you are on the vacation, and I know you don’t want to talk about your job circumstances, but tell me sincerely how you feel every day as a slave in Japan?”

“Jorgito, I don’t need to express how I hate my job to you because you already knew. I don’t want to take a job, but I have no choice, my friend, because I have a mission in my life. I want to go back to Vancouver, which has everything I need. For example, English Bay and Stanley Park where I can peacefully stroll around, every corner of  the downtown where I can find coffee shops, beautiful mountains, beautiful women, and so on and so forth. I really want to go back to Vancouver to write my book as soon as possible. However, it is too depressing for me to go to work every single day, and I am totally aware that I’m wasting my precious time.”

“Exactly!” he exclaimed. “You know, Shogo, likewise I always feel I’m completely wasting my time. I’m thinking constantly about what the meaning of life is. It’s always on my mind. I can’t shake it off. I really don’t think working five days a week is the meaning of life. But mediocrities’ goals are having a right to work and getting a good job. Are they nuts? It is insane, my friend. Why do I have to work five days a week for the rest of my life? Life is one time. Who decided in the first place that we, human beings, have to work five days a week? I really want to know because if I could go back to find a culprit, I would strangle him to death. I mean it. I am so angry at this fucking society system.”

The Most Embarrassing Task under the Sun: Looking for a Job

It was the end of September, and I was as poor as a church mouse. I even hesitated to enter a cafe to have fresh coffee. To tell the truth, my state of poverty was pretty scandal. As a result, I had reached the conclusion: I had no choice – I had to put myself into a humiliating position, namely, taking a pathetic job again. I was supposed to go back to Vancouver to start writing a book a year ago, but I still did not know how to escape form the inferno. I was feeling that I had to do something to change my abortive circumstances before I was knocking my head to a wall like a lost freak.

The most imperative task for the desperate undertaking was that I must have looked for the most insignificant job which was available, so that my mind would be free all the time to think. Thinking and improving myself were the two top priorities at that moment. I could not waste my brain to think about a stupid job, so I needed a job without wearing my brain out. In addition, I would have to have enough energy left to study my favourite books with full attention after work. With that in my mind, I had inaugurated the most embarrassing task under the sun: looking for a job.

Are you in a race with things, never at peace?

Hamsun4Why can’t we have at peace? The answer is very easy: modern society systems. Nowadays people are in a race, never at peace. I know that we have to earn money to support family and have some responsibilities to take care of, but is it really called life? I really think that one sometimes takes a break from hectic daily activities and takes a good look at modern society systems. In doing so, he will soon realize what a mess we have created and what nonsense we are participating in every day. Human beings do not exist for only taking a job, but we sometimes need to relax ultimately, away from any obligations. We sometimes need to be carried back to the dear, foolish bliss of childhood. Only that way can we be content and at peace.  Hamsun gave us wisdoms in Last Joy:

“But can this really be called Life? There you made a slip of the tongue. It’s a life you can’t understand. Sure, you have your home in town, and you have furnished it with knickknacks and pictures and books; but you have a wife and a maid and a hundred expenses. Waking or sleeping, you are in a race with things, never at peace. I am at peace. Keep your bright ideas and books and art and newspapers, keep your cafes too and your whisky, which only makes me sick every time. Here I walk the forest and feel contented. If you ask me intellectual questions and try to catch me out, I merely answer, say, that God is the source and that men are verily just dots and specks of dust in the universe. Nor have you gotten any further. But if you go so far as to ask me what eternity is, I’ve gotten exactly as far as you in this, too, and answer, Eternity is just uncreated time, simply uncreated time. My friend, come here and I’ll take a mirror from my pocket and set a spot of sunlight on your face and illuminate you, my little friend.”

“I lie and think about the reindeer, the path it took, what it did at the SkjelRiver and how it wandered on. There it slipped under some branches where its horns grazed the bark, leaving some marks; there an osier thicket forced it to turn aside, but just beyond the thicket it straightened out the curve and kept on going east. I think about all this? And you? Did you read in one newspaper, as opposed to some other newspaper, what Norwegian public opinion is about Social Security right now?”

“Now you’ll see your chance to parody me, you can say lots of amusing things about this pine stump and me. And yet, deep down you know that in this, as in everything else, I have an edge on you, except that I don’t have as much academic knowledge, nor am I a student, heh-heh. About field and forest you can teach me nothing, there I feel what no man has felt.”

“The days are getting longer and I won’t complain about that. The fact is I’ve suffered great hardship this winter and learned to discipline myself. It occupied my time, and it required a certain strength of will occasionally. I have to say I’ve paid dearly for my education. Sometimes I was unnecessary hard on myself. There is a loaf of bread, I said, it doesn’t surprise me, it doesn’t interest me, I’m used to it. But now you’ll see no bread for twelve hours, then it will make an impression on you, I said, and hid the loaf.”

“After a few hours walking I am like new from top to toe, all is going well. I brandish my stick in the air and it swishes “ho”; when I think I’ve earned it I sit down and eat. You certainly have none of my joys in town. I strut along, full of life and spirit, on the point of whooping and hollering. I pretend my load weighs nothing at all, leap about needlessly and overexert myself a bit; but it’s easy to put up with overexertion when you’re driven to it by inner contentment. Here in my solitude, many miles from people and houses, I experience childlike states of carefree happiness that you cannot possibly understand, unless you get someone to explain them to you. Listen: striking a pose, I pretend I’ve just noticed a remarkable kind of tree. At first I don’t pay much attention to it, but after a little while I stick out my neck and squint and stare. What? I say to myself, could it really be – ! I say. I throw down my load and go closer; I examine the tree and nod; sure, it’s one of a kind, a fabulous tree, I have discovered it! And I take out my notebook and describe the tree. Just a joke, just fun, an odd little impulse – I play. Children have done it before me. And here there’s no postman to take me by surprise. But I quit the game as suddenly I began it, as children do. For a moment, thought, I was carried back to the dear, foolish bliss of childhood.”